A hot spring is a completely natural stream that is geothermally heated. An easy way to identify a hot spring and label it as such is that it must be well above the temperature of the surrounding earth. The temperature of a given hot spring depends on a few different factors: the heat provided at depth (sometimes from a magma chamber), the speed at which the water flows, and whether there is a mixture of cooler groundwater in the water stream hot. Hot springs are the original hot springs of the world.
Interestingly, the term “spa” originates from the city of Spa, Belgium, made famous for its hot springs. Typically, hot springs are found where there is volcanic activity or magma chambers, or where there are fault lines in the Earth. That being the case, there are hot springs all over the world; United States, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Japan and Canada, Slovenia (Thermana Laško), Czech Republic, ….
The Therapeutic Benefits of Thermal Water
Due to the folklore and health benefits of hot springs, it is no wonder that they are a popular tourist destination, especially these days, as they tend to be used regularly as a form of therapy or for rehabilitation.
Thermal water have a particularly high mineral content, because heated water can hold more dissolved solids. This means that a given hot spring can contain everything from calcium, magnesium, silica, lithium, and even radium. Like a multivitamin for the skin!
The heat of the thermal springs envelops and helps to soothe aching muscles, while the minerals present in the water are absorbed by the skin and stimulate certain bodily processes. So how exactly does the combination of these minerals and this hot water help us?